The end of the LV Cup. So what did the winners and losers have to say come the final result
“I don’t think the 5-1 score line reflects how tough the racing was,” said Russell Coutts shortly after coming ashore.
” I think you were all witness to the fact that we were behind many many times, they [Oracle] are a great team and they have progressed a lot throughout the Louis Vuitton Cup and it’s no secret that we had a tremendous amount of respect for the them.”
“I don’t think the 5-1 scoreline is true reflection of how close these teams were, I think the series was a lot closer than what that is and perhaps we had a little bit of luck along the way which I am not complaining about and we are very very happy to be where we are today.”
What did Brad Butterworth think about their result?
“I think it was very difficult for both teams. It was hard to work out which way to go up the first beat and I think Oracle did a great job of getting ahead and then stretching down the first run.
“The top of the second beat was very difficult for them to choose a side and really when we left them going right it was one of us which was going to win and pretty hard tell who was, so the dice came our way and so it worked out okay but I tell you its been great racing and I think its been incredibly tough racing, it’s been great for us, to set us up for the Cup itself. I can only congratulate the Oracle guys for the job that they have done and they have sailed very well through the regatta.”
And for the man who pays the bills?
“It’s nothing like normal business,” said Ernesto Bertarelli.
“When I signed up for the America’s Cup I didn’t know that Larry was going to be competing, as soon as I learned this I said ‘oh shit, this is going to be tough’.
“I don’t think that there is a harder competitor than Larry and for me to be here and knowing how he feels because I don’t like to lose, I am the worst loser in the world.”
Larry Ellison was gracious in defeat.
“I think the guys sailed very well and some of the races we sailed exceptionally well, it’s just that they sailed better. That is the best sailing team and the best sailing I have ever seen in my life.
“It’s no fun coming second, but certainly the best team won out there today, and they deserved to win, so congratulations to Alinghi. Great job Ernesto, Russell and Brad, fantastic.
“They [Alinghi] are a little like a fine Swiss watch with some kiwi parts? It’s beautiful to watch sailing at that level.”
But would he be back?
And how about Chris Dickson, this was his fith Louis Vuitton Cup, would he be back?
“I will go and lie low for a few days and see how I feel in another week or two. We’ve got a great team, we’ve got a great boat and we’ve sailed it as well as can sail and we’ve got beaten this week and the scoreline does reflect what happened, and 5-1 is how good Alinghi is.”
Good though they are, if history proves anything it proves that the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup can count on little to carry them through the big match itself. How does Bertarelli see the future?
“I think we are going to enjoy the day to begin with. I have a huge amount of respect for Team New Zealand and as I have said many times before, we have sailed against the new Team New Zealand several times with Russell and the guys and lost two times. They beat us so we know that they are a very very strong team.
So what had inspired the two team owners to get involved in the America’s Cup in the first place?
“I just love sailing and have been bought up next to the water,” said Ernesto Bertarelli.
“When I started my professional career I really looked for something to bring me down to earth and have a normal life because when you are locked up in corporate life its pretty difficult to meet real people. So I started competitive sailing, thanks to a man called Pierre-Yves Jorand and I met a lot of people after that.
“Sailing brings me back down to earth, I just enjoy the competition, I enjoy the people which share the same passion and when I am on board with Russell, Brad, Simon, Warwick and all the guys I am just another person, just one of the guys. When I do something right I am told I am right and when I do something wrong and I am told I am wrong. It just allows me to have a perspective on life, I just love it and that’s why I do it.”
Larry Ellison had a different perspective.
” I decided to enter the America’s Cup just after the Sydney to Hobart because I have never heard of anyone ever being killed in an America’s Cup race. I was sure I was going to die on the Hobart.”
Shortly afterward the party at Alinghi’s base started. The Louis Vuitton Cup is over but the America’s Cup story is just about to begin.